Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from an asylum in Switzerland. As he becomes embroiled in the frantic amatory and financial intrigues which center around a cast of brilliantly realized characters and which ultimately lead to tragedy, he emerges as a unique combination of the Christian ideal of perfection and Dostoevsky's own views, afflictions, and manners. His serene selflessness is contrasted with the worldly qualities of every other character in the novel. Dostoevsky supplies a harsh indictment of the Russian ruling class of his day who have created a world which cannot accommodate the goodness of this idiot.
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About Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821–1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the darkest recesses of the human heart had a profound and universal influence on the twentieth-century novel. He was born in Moscow, the son of a surgeon. Leaving the study of engineering for literature, he published Poor Folk in 1846. As a member of revolutionary circles in St. Petersburg, he was condemned to death in 1849. A last-minute reprieve sent him to Siberia for hard labor. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1859, he worked as a journalist and completed his masterpiece, Crime and Punishment, as well as other works, including The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.